Thursday, April 10, 2008

A sweet and simple life






Hello again, dear ladies! I hope you are all having a wonderful and beautiful day. I truly cannot express how much it meant to me to read all your sweet response and encouragement to my previous post. Thank you so much for the precious gift of your friendship - and in particular to those of you who shared dear memories of your first weeks and months of marriage, of how you had few material possessions but were so happy just to have each other, knowing you are building a future together with much hope and dedication.
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I'm slowly starting to get things pulled together. It's taking a lot of hard work and elbow grease, but bit by bit, our little dwelling is starting to feel more homey (yes, getting a vacuum cleaner - I'm using my mother's old one, the one she intended to throw away - helped a lot!). We don't have a washing machine yet, but since it's just the two of us right now, laundry doesn't get piled up. I do some hand washing occasionally, I toss whatever remains into my mother's washing machine when we visit. Our home is sparsely furnished and we don't have any decorations just yet, but at least it's getting steadily cleaner, and even though I don't exactly do any gourmet cooking yet, my husband and I don't go hungry and don't eat junk.
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Since we are just starting out, we have to be frugal and save up for the things we really want. We won't splurge easily on expensive furniture, vacations, or fancy clothes. In addition, choices of entertainment are very limited in the area we live now, far (by Israeli standards, anyway) from any city or even town. Even further, we don't have television, radio or - gasp! - internet connection. We will have internet eventually, but radio and TV will probably remain out of bounds - we love the peace and quiet that come from doing without. By the way, Mrs. Sherman, from "Home Living", recently wrote a couple of great posts about being contented and dignified while living a simple life - worth reading!
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Here is where power of contentment comes to play its part. Some may wonder how come I'm not awfully bored and frustrated. However, there are so many sweet and simple activities to keep me busy and happy, even while my husband is at work. Improving our home; doing my best to cook the best meals using the few ingredients and utensils I have on hand; reading; doing crafts; praying; and whenever I want, I can simply go out and take a walk, relishing our beautiful surroundings, pictures of which I'm sharing with you today. Each one is a sweet reflection of the Lord.
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These pictures were taken on a cloudy day, so unfortunately I couldn't capture one of those glorious sunsets I enjoy so much - but you can still see the beauty of the mountains. The picture at the bottom is what I see right outside my doorstep. The close-up picture of the flower and me in my blue head scarf were taken by my husband.
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Thank you, again, for your loving kindness which you express so generously in the notes you leave for us. I'm so thankful for the ability to keep blogging, even though I cannot do it on a daily basis for now.
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Until another time, I remain, your loving friend
Mrs. Anna T

29 comments:

Elizabeth Sue said...

Wishing you all the happiness to you and your husband.

Michelle Potter said...

You have such a blessed opportunity right now, Anna. How I wish I could start over with just the barest necessities and rid my life of the complication of so much clutter!

A few years ago my husband, children, and I were visiting relatives in Arkansas. I don't know if you know anything about Arkansas, but the area we were visiting was remote, in the mountains on a dirt road, and the nearest "city" was just a small town. For just a moment we considered sending word home for someone to sell our things and send us the money so we could buy a small house and start anew in the mountains. I suppose I'm glad we didn't; there are a few possessions I would have missed that couldn't be replaced. But it would have been exciting!

elena rulli said...

You are a great encouragement for me and, althoough I am not married, when the time comes, I hope I will be able to live with the same trust and hope you are sharing with your readers.
May your days be more and more fruitful and joyful!

Lady-in-the-Making said...

Anna, I love your headscarves. I hope you won't take offense but you look like a beautiful, traditional young Jewish wife!!! I love your new look. And the mountains are breathtaking! Oh, enjoy your new life with your husband. I can tell you that my husband of 21 years means so much more to me today than he ever did. We are so deeply in love that the first feelings when we were married seem rather shallow in comparsion - and we loved each other VERY much then! :) It only gets better. God bless you!

Karen said...

We didn't have a washing machine at first either. We hauled our clothes down to the laundry room in our apartment building once a week. It was a pain, but it all got done at once!

I'm glad you are both doing well and being wise with your money. It'll come in handy once the babies start showing up. :)

Kim said...

Wonderful pictures (even with the clouds) - thank you for sharing them and your life! :D

jane said...

Such beauty you live amongst, Anna. What a blessing, indeed. :o)

I love the blue headscarf and look forward to seeing others you may share with us.

Meager beginnings bring about a true sense of appreciation.

Bless you.

tales_from_the_crib said...

your new home looks so lovely. enjoy this special time while it is just yours...you'll have things and kids later, but will always look back and "remember when" all of the funny adjustments from your first years.

PamelaK said...

Hello Anna! I have been faithfully reading your updates since the wedding even tho I don't think I have taken the time to comment since then. (April and May are probably the busiest I have been/will be in several months since my son is graduating at the end of May.) It is so good to see you back and so happy!
I have to mention that I did not have my own washer and dryer for 8 years after we were married. We also did not own a house for that length of time. We lived in a very expensive part of the country and it was either rent and do with some inconveniences or leave my small children to be raised by someone else. I say all this just to say that as I look back those simple times were the happiest of my life! The sad thing is that when I tell some young ladies about those years now, they look at me as if I were from Mars!!
Again, welcome back! Am enjoying the pictures of your new beautiful home so far, and looking forward to those wedding pictures!! By the way, your dress and veil are gorgeous!!!

Jennifer said...

I really have enjoyed reading your story as I lurk around your blog. It occurs to me to ask though, why can I not find any pictures of your smiling? I don't doubt your joy and happiness, I just wonder why there are no photos of you smiling.

Sammybunny said...

I'm so excited to hear from you! You are such an inspiration to all of us! Congratulations!

Terry said...

Nice to hear from you Anna and I'm so touched that given the busyness of your life as a new bride that you took the time to visit my blog. Blessings to you.

By the way, despite your limited kitchenware, I never once doubted that you would avoid "eating junk". Just curious: Is Mr. T a vegetarian as well? And if not, have you begun considering ways to accomodate both of your dietary needs in your menu planning? You know, I am a carnivore married to a semi-vegetarian (well my husband does eat fish with scales, no other type of seafood) so I'm always interested in how other couples make this work.

Coffee Catholic said...

Hello Anna! What lovely pictures you've posted! I'm so happy that you are happy! God bless!

Julia said...

I'm glad you're enjoying this peaceful time in your life. How rural are you? Do you have neighbors?

I think that flower is called a bird-of-paradise.

Autumn said...

I am glad that you are doing well!
I have no doubt that things will get easier later on, but I can tell that you are enjoying being married even without a lot of money!

Erica said...

I am so thrilled for you. Your contentment flows so clearly through your words. Many of us would love to go back to the simpler days of our lives and are working towards that daily (imagine, having to WORK towards simplicity...sigh).

I think it is wonderful that you have so few things to distract you from the simple beauty of your new marriage and life.

Elisabeth said...

I think a lot of us are curious about your new husband! If you'd like, could you tell us a bit about him?...what he does for a living, for example. Or maybe a picture? I'd love to see one of you both together!! :)

Anonymous said...

I've noticed that you haven't yet told us anything about your husband, beyond his last initial :). Is this intentional, or do you plan to talk about him more in future posts?

Wonderful pictures by the way. I'd love one of those bird-of-paradise flowers, but they're rather out of my budget for now. I'll just have to satisfy myself with the fragrant hyacinth and bright pelargonium on my kitchen windowsill :)

erica said...

It's great to hear that things are coming together in your new home. I, too, am recently married (its been 4 weeks now for me), and have had really been enjoying turning our living space into a "home". It's taken more work than I would have thought, but I love every minute of it.
The view from your home is just beautiful! And even though it is probably quiet, I bet it is really nice to have quiet moments with your husband without television, internet and city life distracting you all the time!
I pray that the Lord continues to bless you, your husband and your marriage.

Lillian the Ponderer said...

How beautiful it looks where you are living, I am so happy for you.

You are right there is so much you can do with out, floor cushions are inexpensive and you can with very little expense or needlework change the covers whenever you feel like it, plus it gives a nice informal feel to a room. Elbow grease is a very economical and powerful cleaning agent and much underrated.

We don't have a television I don't want to pay the TV licence, we would have no where to put it and there is very little that I would actually feel comfortable watching from a moral standpoint and I consider it a time waster. - You can get your news online (when you do get internet) and there are even many things that you can watch on the internet through a streamed connection including many religious and nature channels. Besides without TV trapping you, you have so much more time.

It sounds like you are keeping your priorities straight. Enjoy this time, it will pass quickly and you will look back fondly to it I am sure.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna,

Congratulations on the new joy in your life. I am so happy tp read that your wedding went well and you are happy in your marriage. I don't often respond to posts on blogs, but I felt myself inclined to respond to this one!
Reading about your simple life starting out as a new married couple - I have to admit, I envy the simplicity. When I married, although I was still young, I had five years worth of a working life and an entire household of stuff. So did my husband. It was so difficult in the first few years of our marriage, sorting out this and that, deciding what to keep and what to give away. As we both had items we were attached to, we had to make some difficult choices - ones that we would have avoided had we started like you have, with a clean slate. Enjoy your time of simplicity - you have what so many others have to go through so much heartache to obtain.

Best Regards,
Melissa

Kristy said...

Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures... looks like you enjoy quite a picturesque view! Somehow doing without makes you appreciate each other all the more, doesn't it?? Believe me, your home won't always be empty! Soon enough it will be filled with lots of homey things... and eventually the constant chatter of little people. :o) One day you'll look back on these "quiet days" with a certain awe and a special fondness. :o)

~Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

Kristy said...

Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures... looks like you enjoy quite a picturesque view! Somehow doing without makes you appreciate each other all the more, doesn't it?? Believe me, your home won't always be empty! Soon enough it will be filled with lots of homey things... and eventually the constant chatter of little people. :o) One day you'll look back on these "quiet days" with a certain awe and a special fondness. :o)

~Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

Mrs.KAOS said...

It is so lovely, and peaceful looking. I miss the open space; I live in the suburbs now, but I was raised on a farm on top of a hill in New England. Thank you for sharing your new home with all of us.

neuropoet3 said...

Mrs. Anna,
What beautiful scenes you have around your new home! Also, I love your headscarf's color - that blue is lovely...
I'm so glad to hear you are settling in well. I know what you mean by enjoying the simple things. We've recently hit a very bumpy financial patch (one of the many bumps life throws at you) and we're having to move in with family very quickly. This weekend we are greatly simplifying our lives - and deep down I'm actually pretty happy about it. Even though it will be hard for the four of us to live in one room on my family's property - it won't be the end of the world - and it will be a time of growth for all of us. Plus, the property is beautiful :) - and it will be a wonderful place for the boys to "de-stress" with plenty of family around to support them. It won't be easy, but it will be good...

I hope you and your dear husband continue to enjoy every minute of these first few months together! My prayers are with you both!!!
Peace be with you,
~Jenny

Our Red House said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Congratulations on your recent wedding. You truly have the 'marriage glow'. As a 38 year old mother of four who has been married 17 years, I look back fondly to the days when all our furniture was hand-downs (quite a lot still is), but life was oh, so wonderful.

Kate

Laura H. said...

Glad to hear from you again. Hope you are having a wonderful life, starting as a wife, and hopefully a mother, someday.

Just wanted you to know, I am praying for you, and hope to hear from you soon.

Your loving friend,
Laura H.

Mia said...

Anna,
Your comments brought tears to my eyes. I'm so very touched by what you have to say regarding contentment and simplicity. I cannot stress too much how rare and refreshing it is in today's world to hear such lovely and pure words. And I thank you for them, as well as for the beautiful photos. Congratulations to you and your husband, and much happiness is wished for you both.
Blessings,
Mia (USA)

Anonymous said...

Anna-

We would love to see you smile in your photos! We all know you are happy!

Shannon